audio + visual + web/tek = synthmode 


Grid-19 is a representation of a  speech balloon.  According to Wikipedia, speech balloons are divided in 3 categories: speech (smooth border), thoughts (bubbly borders), and screams (zigzag borders).  This particular one is a hybrid of all three: it has a zigzag "tail" (scream), smooth borders (speech), but does not display text--it displays an image instead (meaning thoughts rather than speech).

The figures inside the speech bubble are meant to illustrate the concept of abstract thought by nesting two slanted squares inside a distorted one.  This simple group of figures do 3 things commonly found in abstract art: abstraction through simplification, repetition, and distortion.  The distorted square is probably the most thought-provoking element of the piece as everything else seems to follow a pattern.

Did you know speech scrolls were some of the earliest forms of speech bubbles?  If you want to be real fancy with your comics you might want to use speech scrolls instead-booyakasha!

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Introducing "gridz"

Gridz are minimalist abstract art pieces with the following characteristics:

  • Use a square grid from as a drawing guide, usually 8x8 up to 20x20 grids.
  • Use black lines that start and end at grid crossings
  • Use space thoughtfully
  • Use repetition in creative ways
  • Contain familiar/thought-provoking shapes and symbols
  • Do not use suggestive titles
I created gridz sometime around November 8, which is Hermann Rorschach's birthday.  Rorschach was a psychologist that developed the famous "inkblots test" as a psychoanalysis method.  The idea of something so seemingly-simple as an inkblot provoking such deep-rooted thoughts to surface fascinated me.
Another concept behind gridz is Piet Mondrian’s style of abstraction (i.e. Broadway Boogie-Woogie).  Mondrian abstracted or “simplified” his compositions to the extent of reducing elements to vertical and horizontal lines and primary colors.  Similarly, gridz are highly abstracted and limited which make creating them a straight-forward and relatively simple process (like inkblots!).   Ironically, this abstraction and simplicity are what allow gridz to serve as windows to deeper and more complex ideas.  In other words, gridz speak softly and clearly so that the minds of both creators and viewers can take the spotlight.
Gridz share many similarities with mandalas: spiritual and ritual symbols used in Hinduism and Buddhism for meditation and trance induction.  Mandalas are generally square-shaped and use symmetry, repetition, radial balance, and many other elements that are also common in gridz.  These stylistic elements in combination with a variety of shapes can make gridz highly meditative, taking both the creator and viewer on a journey of self-discovery through association.  This process of meditation and discovery is very personal and can be completely different for the viewer from the creator.
Other styles of art using similar elements to gridz are:
Finally, due to the minimalist nature of gridz, I discourage the use of descriptive titles (hence the titles of my gridz: "Grid-XX"), as these may interfere with the viewers experience digesting the piece.  Instead, I feel a description is better suited, and usually isn't read until after the piece is looked at.
visual, gallery, art, design, gridz